Archive for March 31, 2008

Saturday Morning

I went running on Saturday morning on Chapman’s Peak with my mom.  WOW, I wish I had done this sooner.  What an amazing run!!With my mom visiting for the week I’ve been showing off all the rad routes I get to run around Cape Town – making her sufficiently jealous – but this I think put the cherry on the top…

We parked in Hout Bay at around 7am with the road still in the shadow of the mountain.  It was cool and windless with the sea glassy and clear.  There were a few other runners out and some cyclists (this always adds to the view) but hardly any cars yet, so no spluttering on exhaust fumes.

We ran to Noordhoek and back and it took us around 2 hours.  The only things you need to watch out for are the reflectors in the road when gazing at the scenery!!

I’ll be out there again next weekend for sure!!

A Guide To Being An Awesome Second

  • Wake up with the athlete on the morning, usually around 4:15, to take them to the start, offering words of reassurance.
  • Make sure they have all they need and go over the route – again – and the spots where you will be waiting.
  • Be at designated spots way in advance, foregoing any breakfast or coffee stops, it’s all about the runner.
  • Make sure all pre-packed items are ready i.e. lip ice, sun cream and hat, boiled potato cut into pieces, raisins, and cooked chicken legs.
  • If runner is unable to stop (for fear of not being able to start again), don’t feel shy to walk with them, telling them that they look great (girls need to hear these things, even if they are a lie)
  • Be sure to peel any fruit, break into segments and wait while runner sucks the juice out and hands back what’s left.
  • Wait at the end standing with arms wide open to give them a congratulatory hug (any comments on smell or their sweaty bodies is NOT recommended).
  • Pay to have them go for a massage at one of the massage tents
  • Carry all their paraphernalia and shoes, back to the car and then drive around and fetch them from the entrance so they don’t have to walk to where you parked, usually around 3km’s away because you couldn’t get there earlier.
  • Tell the runner that you would do it again in a heartbeat!!

My First Marathon

To say I was pretty nervous would have been an understatement, having never run more than 21.1km before this, my tummy was in knots – mentally kicking myself for only training 4 days in the 2 weeks leading up to this (I have a busy social life). 

But, the lucky knickers were washed and ready, the number pinned on my shirt days before and the snacks all pre-packed for my trusty second – to go out there and see how much training I still needed to do just to qualify for the Comrades. 

Turns out none!! 

It was really only the last 10km that I hated the world and blamed it for making me run.  Walking a lot I was consumed by my own wretchedness until I was passed by a man running with a “70” on his shirt, yes, a 70 year old man was running past me, what the…!!!!! 

Needless to say this got me back on track, I put my head down, turned my music volume up to “possible damage” and just stomped the last few km’s. 

I came in just before 4 hours 30 minutes with a huge smile on my face, a little sandblasted from the hectic wind, a few philosophical questions answered, and very jelly legs. (To qualify for the Comrades you have to finish a full marathon in 5 hours) 

So to those out there full of excuses as to why you can’t run a marathon, I only have one thing to say:

Man Up!!    

Kloof Neck Classic

For those of you familiar with Cape Town, imagine running up the Glen from Camps Bay then up Tafelberg road and then up Signal Hill road, and then back to Camps Bay again.  Madness – definitely

My first half marathon in the year, I’d decided to test myself to see how unfit I’d become over the holidays – why I decided I needed a test after having a very lazy Christmas I’m not really sure, I guess I was hoping that the dancing on New Years counted for something…

Hurtling back down the Glen to the finish line at Camps Bay High school, making sure I didn’t trip on any cats-eyes on the way, it felt like I’d been on the road for hours.  Fighting the urge to walk onto the field towards the time keepers (this is apparently very uncool) I almost choked on my “free” (we pay for the privilege of putting our bodies through this kind of torture) cup of coke to discover that I’d run this race in 2 hours and 4 minutes.

To put this into perspective for you, I was never a runner to begin with, opting for long jump and javelin at school in the compulsory sport events (this is comical given that I am on the very side of short), I had never imagined that I would find myself running, let alone running races with the hopes of qualifying for the Comrades!!

To Start – 2007

Last year I went to support my mom who was running her 3rd Comrades Marathon at age 48.  It was a great experience I even managed to squeeze a tear out as she came galloping into the stadium, not really looking at all like she had just run 89km from Maritzburg to Durbs.  

Being my astute, verbal self (as a supporter you are also allowed to carbo-load, mine being in the form of beer) I happened to observe out loud that amongst the people finishing there seemed to be all shapes and sizes, and there was no excuse I could think of (just then) why I wouldn’t be able to do the same at the age of 26 with the body of a pre-pubescent boy.  

My mom responded to this with a subscription to her running club, the kit, a permanent number and a very clever “I only want to do one more comrades and I’d like to do it with you, my only daughter”.Not being easily swayed by peer pressure I accepted all of this with a smirk and a promise to do what I could ie more carbo-loading and a jog every now and again. 

At the end of October my mom came to visit me in Cape Town from KZN, and join me in my first half marathon (the VOB Grape Run).  I had visions of her leaving me in her (now 49 year old) dust and me limping in, with the ambulance being the only thing behind me.  To my surprise I managed to keep up and finished in a very respectable 2 hours18 minutes for a relatively tough course, which made me think that perhaps I should try a little harder to train, considering I had the kit and all…